Over the past generation, a battle line has been drawn. On one side is technology, and the other is tradition. Both derive from deep sources of wisdom, and claim to be the path to follow to salvation from a host of ills. But both also can be dogmatic, and fail to listen from the other. In agriculture, this battle is fought between the world of bio-tech, with promises to feed the masses through chemicals, bio-engineered crops, and massive farming operations. On the other is organic farming, with innovative land management practices, bio-diversity and localized food production.
While we may personally lean one way on this debate, what can we learn from the other side?
What sort of farming practices do you see as essential to promoting health for everyone?
Foreign Policy published two articles recently on either side of this debate
Robert Paarlberg claims “making food ‘sustainable’ — in other words, organic, local, and slow. Appealing as that might sound, it is the wrong recipe for helping those who need it the most.”
Anna Lappe counters that the environmental and human health impact of industrial farming far outweigh any productivity gains, which advanced organic methods could match and sustain over long periods of time.